Prime Day Cometh

I recently got a notification that Amazon’s “holiday,” Prime Day, is coming this summer. This amuses me on several levels.

The first is that Prime Day is actually two days long. So far as I know, this isn’t a sundown to sundown thing, either. Amazon just has their own special definition of “day.”

Also, for those who haven’t heard of it, Prime Day is basically Amazon trying to make up its own Black Friday which no one else celebrates. In theory is is a “day” on which there are all sorts of amazing deals, such as usually are only found on Black Friday.

At least based on previous prime days, there aren’t any amazing deals to be had, at least not on anything that anyone wants, or in comparison to what items normally sell for. There is a certain amount of removing all discounts in the days leading up to Prime Day so that re-applying the ordinary discounts can be claimed to be a sale, but that’s not exactly impressive. There are, of course, the occasional significant markdowns on overstocked items, but if one pays attention those always come up from time to time. If they’re still doing it, those are available year-round on Amazon’s “gold box”. I once got a very nice kitchen knife for $20 that way. (I think it may have been overstocked because the factory forgot to sharpen it and it couldn’t cut a paper towel out of the box. Since one has to periodically sharpen kitchen knives anyway, this wasn’t exactly a big deal to me.) A “day” dedicated to buying things at basically the same prices but with more fanfare than normal isn’t very exciting.

Which actually brings me to Black Friday. There was a short time when Black Friday sales really were a thing, large box stores offering exceptionally deep discounts on some items in order to lure people into the store, at which point they would start doing the rest of their Christmas shopping while they were there. As the saying goes, though, while you can fool all of the people some of the time, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and competition from other stores combined with awareness that it would be better to hold off on one’s other shopping until the crowds weren’t of quite such deadly sizes rendered the practice of huge discounts on attractive items economically untenable. And whatever can’t go on forever, won’t.

Black Friday is already passing into the sands of time. Cyber Monday never really became a thing. I find it quite funny that Amazon is trying to invent a pretend holiday which Amazon can own based on holidays already on their way out.

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